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Dark Days Ahead for Companies That Fail Customers
It's 2016, and there are more ways to connect than ever before. You would think customer service and customer care would be at an all-time high. Why, then, do so many customers feel they are at an all-time low? Customers are frustrated. Companies are using social networks to provide customer service, but they are failing. Companies don't seem able to put the pieces together.
American Breaks People
It's easy to lose sight of people in a CRM discussion, focusing instead on the great technology and what it does under optimum circumstances. We should keep the customer in mind at all times, however, for without them what are we? Forgetting the customer is dangerous both for customers and vendors in this social age. Far from being a universal good, automation can obstruct human interactions.
Defense Department Drifts Toward Commercial Cloud
The U.S. Department of Defense plans to spend nearly half a billion dollars on a project that is designed to further the incorporation of commercial cloud capabilities into DoD's information technology operations. Vendors have been asked to submit bids for the project, known as"Mil-Cloud 2.0."The procurement is one element of a comprehensive DoD strategy for expanding cloud operations.
Amazon Sets Up New Auto Research Shop
Amazon on Thursday launched Amazon Vehicles, a research and community site that will let users compare new and used cars, and shop for auto parts, among other things. The site will let customers view everything from specs, images, videos and customer reviews of thousands of brand new to classic vehicles, potentially offering stiff competition to Edmunds, Kelley Blue Book and Autotrader.com.
WhatsApp Shaves Off a Little More Privacy
Einstein to Make Dreamforce Appearance
Salesforce plans to unveil Einstein, an artificial intelligence product, at next month's Dreamforce 16. Einstein integration will give Salesforce's sales, service, marketing, collaboration and e-commerce products predictive suggestion and insights capabilities. It will serve as a new nerve system across the entire business. AI is key to Salesforce's future, CEO Marc Benioff has emphasized.
Google Cracks Down on Intrusive Mobile Ads
Google has announced that it soon will downgrade mobile pages in its search rankings if they carry ads that obscure content. Such ads"provide a poorer experience to users than other pages where content is immediately accessible,"explained Doantam Phan, a product manager at Google. Techniques that reduce the accessibility of content include showing users a popup that covers the main content.
In a Political Season
Many, if not most, people I know don't want to talk about it -- the election, that is. Lots of them have views but they don't want to share them, based on a dislike of contentiousness. Who likes conflict? There is an article floating around the Internet that I lost track of that says nobody's mind ever changes in a heated debate about something so vital, so why engage?
Kobe Bryant Pours Energy - and Money - Into Tech
Kobe Bryant, the retired Los Angeles Lakers basketball champion, has expanded his burgeoning suite of business interests with Monday's launch of Bryant Stibel, a $100 million venture capital fund for technology, data and media companies. Jeff Stibel, the vice chairman of Dun&Bradstreet, is Bryant's long-time business partner. Bryant and Stibel plan to self-fund the new firm for several years.
Verizon Toys With Risky App Revenue Plan
Verizon's reported consideration of a plan to preinstall mobile apps from major retailers and financial firms on users' smartphones has drawn sharp criticism. The carrier reached out to numerous retail and finance brands with an offer to preload mobile apps on its Android phones for between $1 and $2 per device, according to unnamed ad agency executives.
Pegasystems CTO Don Schuerman: Trust the Technology
Customers may not understand the processes that drive their experiences, and they're not eager to look under the hood, suggested Don Schuerman, CTO of Pegasystems."The contemporary customer doesn't really care about CRM. They care about the experience they have, and in most cases they know little or nothing about the fact that there's a technology behind the scenes called CRM.
Sony Tips PS4 Slim Standard Strategy
Sony reportedly plans to roll out a slimmed-down standard version of its popular PlayStation 4 video game console next month. The news follows the company's announcement earlier this year that it would introduce a higher-end version of the console with enhanced graphics, aimed at hard-core gamers. The new PS4 standard model could be Sony's way of attracting more casual users.
Russian Gang Suspected of Hacking Oracle's POS System
Oracle has been investigating a point-of-sale system breach that may be the work of Russian cyberthieves. Hackers compromised at least 700 computers on the MICROS POS system, used by hundreds of thousands of hotels, restaurants and retail outlets worldwide to process credit card transactions, Krebs on Security reported earlier this month. More than 330,000 cash registers worldwide use MICROS.
Lights Out for Gawker.com
Gawker Media owner Nick Denton has revealed that Gizmodo, Lifehacker, Kotaku, Jalopnik, Jezebel and Deadspin will continue with their current writers and other staff members following the company's sale to Univision, but that neither he nor Gawker.com will be included in the transition. The Gawker sites will be joiningThe Onion, ClickHole and other Web properties in Fusion Media Group.
Enterprise Software's Future
What's the direction of the software industry? I'm not indulging in idle curiosity -- things are changing, and today's events are signaling a significant shift. The rollout of Software as a Service and the emergence of relatively good platforms -- which will only get better -- suggest to me that the software industry of 2000, in which cloud and SaaS began to emerge, is now well in the past.
Cisco Delivers Good News, Bad News: Solid Earnings, Job Cuts
Cisco Systems will cut up to 5,500 employees from its 73,000-strong global workforce, the company announced Wednesday as part of its Q4 earnings report. The restructuring will allow further investment in key priority areas such as security, the Internet of Things, collaboration, next-generation data center and cloud, the company said, along with optimization of costs in lower-growth areas.
Cloud Platforms and the Connected-Device Value Chain
Internet of Things cloud platforms offer device makers and companies the opportunity to greatly expand the value of products and services. These devices are reshaping the value chain by altering product design and development, manufacturing, marketing, supply chain management and service after the sale. They also generate new support activities, such as product data analytics and security.
Salesforce Reels BeyondCore Into Its Cloud
Salesforce has inked an agreement to acquire BeyondCore, a data analytics firm that already has integrated its latest release with Salesforce, the companies said Monday. BeyondCore will become part of the Salesforce Analytics Cloud, extending smart data discovery and advanced analytics capabilities across the entire Salesforce Customer Success Platform, said BeyondCore CEO Arijit Sengupta.
Intel Snaps Up Nervana to Jump-Start AI
Intel last week announced the acquisition of startup Nervana, in a bid to enhance the company's capabilities in artificial intelligence and deep learning. Nervana jumped out of the gate at its 2014 launch with a robust platform for deep learning, a framework called"Nervana Neon,"and the Nervana Engine -- a groundbreaking ASIC chip scheduled for introduction by the first quarter of 2017.
Tim Cook Devotes a Lot of Words to Saying Very Little
Tim Cook talked about his five years at the helm of Apple in a wide-ranging interview published Saturday. Apple fans looking for juicy morsels about new products won't find them in the Q&A, however. Among other things, Cook discounted the bleak claims of those analysts who maintain the smartphone market is in decline -- and Apple's fortunes with it.
Feds Make Big Strides in Big Data Management
U.S. government agencies gradually have been getting a handle on utilizing the potential of big data and data analytics. At the same time, the Obama administration has recognized that significantly more investment will be required for federal big data research in order to guide agencies toward maximizing the value of processing huge chunks of data and improving their data analysis capabilities.
Huffington Leaves Post to Focus on Health Startup
Arianna Huffington on Thursday announced she would leave her position as editor-in-chief of the eponymous publication she cofounded 11 years ago to focus on her latest project -- Thrive Global, a lifestyle, health and wellness site. The reasons for her exit fromThe Huffington Postmay be more complicated than that, however.
Russian Regulators Scoop Apple Into Price-Fixing Probe
A Russian regulatory authority earlier this week named Apple, along with more than a dozen Russian retailers, as a target for an investigation into price-fixing activities. The Federal Antimonopoly Service, or FAS, has seen signs of price-setting coordination among iPhone resellers in Russia, according to a notice published on the agency's website.
Is This the Beginning of the End for the Set-Top Box?
C Spire started out as a privately owned wireless competitor in Mississippi. Since then, it has expanded in several directions. Its focus last year was on installing high-speed Internet in a few Mississippi cities. Now it is partnering with MobiTV to offer a new television service for the home. The service will not use the set-top boxes common with cable TV.
CFB Strategies Cofounders Anderson and Vaillancourt: Catching Up With CRM
CRM innovations in recent years have had a significant impact on campaigns and nonprofit organizations, according to CFB Strategies President Trace Anderson."Traditionally in the campaign world, it was an old-school mentality of just collecting checks,"he said."Even when I started working in politics, from 2006 to 2008, everything was done by hand."